tv MSNBC Live MSNBC March 22, 2011 11:00am-12:00pm EDT
eastern libya, the rebels are leaving the major cities like here in tobruk or benghazi, trying to make advances. we've been watching these untrained rebels leaving tobruk and benghazi and military convoys, most of them are just pickup trucks with enmen in the back. they'll get 100 miles or so and then meet the gadhafi forces that are dug in. oftentimes it's the rebels then forced to retreat back to their strongholds in the cities. rebel leaders tell us without more support, without direct military intervention or at least a more sustained bombardment campaign by the west, this conflict could end in a stalemate. richard engel, nbc news, totobruk. experts say the conflict present an even more complicated
situation abroad. ken pollock worked as director for the national security council and joins us this morning. ken, nice to see you. right now i want to talk about yemen. i want to talk about these other hot spots. and there's always a major uprising under way in yemen. many experts have said there's a lot of instability there. also all of us in the united states say it's a proving ground. i think all of us remember what happened to the "uss cole" so why would he get involved in libya instead of doing something more proactive in yemen. >> i think it's a greet question. in the case of yemen we have multiple civil wars that have been going on. what's happened recently -- but
yemen doesn't have oil, let's be very honest about that. libya does. that makes libya important. in addition, one of the big moving factors that got a lot of nations to say we have to go into libya was the threat of a humanitarian massacre, like what we saw in iraq after what we saw in '91, what we saw in bosnia, saying yeah, we've got to go -- if you saw the same kind of massacre, it's entirely possible, but yemen is a different kind of country. you could see an outgreat of even but probably not along the same lines of what we're seeing in libya. >> what about the opportunists that will strike, getting involved, maybe not having a horse in the race, so to speak, but they're going to use it to their advantage on the other side. >> absolutely, this is always
the case, one of the difficulties of any kind of action, including inaction, is there is always somebody sitting across the table looking to take advantage of whatever it is that the united states and our allies do and bhafr the united states and our allies don't do. this is how a guy has stayed in power is there any concern that his's fortifying his position as he lays low? or is he just saber rattling? >> inch external he's playing on the theme of invader. most people really don't care for gadhafi. the bigger issue is this military one.
>> if people don't care for him, why has he been allowed to stay in power for so long? especially now that we're learning that they want him to stip down. they don't want him dead, but i'm sure he would take that. however, they have allowed him to stay in power. what made it so bad that they feel that they have to get involved in this now, especially in the situation with two other wars in this country going on at the same time. >> right. i think that's the key remember, the united states, the obama add -- certainly they did that and in tunisia, and egypt,
bahrain falls into a different category because of our relationship with saudi arabia. in addition to these popular uprisings was the potential for a real humanitarian massacre. gadhafi had rallied key elements of his military, he was sending them into benghazi. there was real fear we would a a kurdistan and the world decided we can't allow that to happen. >> ken, thank you for your time. >> thanks so much for having me. three days after establishing a no-fly zone, coalition forces remain fully engaged. already there's some evident of the kind of risk that our military is facing in this campaign. this morning, a u.s. fighter jet crashed in the field while carrying out a mission. however, the u.s. military says the crash was not a result of being shot down and both crew members are safe.
nbc's jim miklaszewski is at the pentagon with the latest. this was an f-15 strike eagle. they really have a track record of being a good operational machine, so give us the background of the types of mechanical difficulties that should bring something down. >> it's impossible to tell. it could have been hydraulics, engine failure. until you talk to the pilots or do an examination of the aircraft itself, which maybe be difficult since the thing crash landed in what is considered to be ostensibly hostile territory. what they usually do is launch an air strike on the aircraft itself on the ground to destroy it so that any enemy forces can't essentially pick it apart for sensitive equipment, particularly that which would relate to communications and intelligence and the like, but at this time we don't have any clue to exactly what that
mechanical problem is. now, somebody in the military does, we just don't know that at this point. >> mick, what do we know about how long we're going to be engaged in this? we're hearing from the president days, not weeks, but what are you hearing? >> i think many people are misconstruing what the president is talking about. he is talking about the u.s. military giving up the lead of this operation. as long as this operation continues, however along that is -- i guess it appeared somewhat open-ended, the u.s. military will be heavily involved. only because, you know, our allied forces, as good as they may be just don't have the kind of unique capabilities that the u.s. military could bring to this operation. particularly in terms of communications, command and control, and the like. so it will be interesting how this comes about. you know, some people are speculating that they may put,
for example, a british or french general or admiral in charge of the operation, but each individual u.s. unit would be led by their own american commanders. u.s. military traditionally is very reluctant to give up command of its forces to a foreign entity. >> we'll continue to wait and watch. mick, thank you. president obama has been giving all of his remarks from south america, but here at home, elected leaders on both sides of the aisle are weighing in on the decision to attack. >> the american people through the congress need to hear what obctres gt of oil we import on a daily basis. >> what's going on? we have money for endless wars and can't take care of things at home. >> we don't have a clear picture
of who up opposition movement really is. >> so i think you get the gist. joining muss is david goodfriend, and amy, good to have you both. this latin-american trip is almost over. when he gets back, what will he have to -- >> when the president gets back he'll have a lot of congress that will want his ease and he's going to have to tell them very simple things -- why are we there is it what are our objectives? and will the united states be in charge? so far he hasn't had clear answers to that. year own reporter said the president is being misconstrued, so there's question marks there. this could be open-ended. there are question marks there. even the reporting on this is not clear. >> yeah, jim may have been correcting me about misconstrued.
david, though, let's discuss the politician. president obama has been seeing his best approval ratings since he took office, but there are people on both sides of the aisle coming out about this that aren't happy about the move here. how is this going to play out for the president? also is there a window for potential gop presidential candidates to capitalize on this? >> i think the mean that the helps are trying to put fort is the president is somehow weak on this, and i always try to stake a step back and say, what are the alternatives? would we rather see john mccain who ran for the office and lost? would we rather see george bush? i think most americans take a look and feel he's a bit more level-headed. the problem i think the president will face is articulatic an end game, articulating a goal. that's different. that, i think, is a time-related
question. in other words if we're still having this conversation a year from now, that's bad for the president. if there's been a transfer of leadership as has been anticipated. if the coalition gets support, here's my big gripe. if the coalition gets support from the arab league, that's a big difference. right now this whole thing strikes me as way to euro sent rick. we love to see the arab league, which is like lucy and the football saying i support you, and then they take the football away and say we don't like the no-fly zone. i think we need clarity from the arab league. >> when you talk about people put him in the office because he appears to be more level-headed. is this the approach of a level-headed president? he's getting hammered by both sides. did we think about the consequences and we have these two other warts that don't seem to have an end dates. now here we are engaging in something we don't have, at least to all of us, really think there is a plan for withdrawal
and also a transition of power. >> i think though -- >> no, go ahead, amy. >> i think what we're seeing is a vacillating president. you say the republicans are putting out this mean that he's week weak, and what the public is saying is the president kicking around a soccer ball why we have military jets in the air. he's not here at home leading this effort or being fully engaged. that's the president's team. when the american voters look at this, they're not voting for -- george bush is not on the ballot, john mccain did -- president obama is going to be on the ballot and they're going to be judging his performance in office. >> they'll be compare him to people like sarah palin or haley barbour or tim pawlenty. the point is when we talk about whether or not the 79 is suffering politically here, you have people on the left like me who would love to see us out of all these places, right?
then people on the right who have been clamoring for a no-fly zone. i'm a bit amused saying, hey, you should come to congress first, they didn't ask that of george bush, but that's another gripe. the next election will be decided by independents and people in the middle. that's where the political fight is taking place, and i really come back to my earlier point. this will be decided based on timing. if we're having this conversation a year from now it's bad for the president. if we're not, on balance i would say it's good for the president. >> great to have you both on this morning. appreciate your time. >> thank you. japanese authorities report that water in the area of the troubled nuclear reactors now testing positive for radiation. it raises the question of what's safe for people to eat ainge drinks? a live report is straight ahead. they steam and bake the actual whole grain while the other guy's flake is more processed. mmm.
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welcome back, everybody. the economic consequences could reach -- and the devastating human toll becomes clear each day. nbc's ian williams has more for us from komiyashi. >> good morning. the official death toll has passed 9,000, with at least 13,000 more still missing. hopes have been raised by sunday's dramatic rescue of rescue on sunday. in reality, though, the search-and-rescue operation is winding down and the big cleanup has begun. one piece of good news, significant amounts of aids are at least reaching survivors in the more remote areas devastated by the tsunami, though basic
goods are still in short supply. water and power are also being prestored to many areas. some 400,000 people have been displaced. what's most striking as you visit the battered towns is the tremendous resilience. none of the chaos a that often accompanies natural disasters elsewhere. back to you. >> ian, thank you very much. the focus simply on their survival in japan. they're either homeless or forced to evacuate their longstanding neighborhoods, and today there's anxiety about food safety. elevated levels of radiation have been detected. after the government banned sails of milk from the fukushima prefecture because of contamination and sales from leafy vegetables from areas as far away as 160 miles.
doctor, as wee hearing about this, and simply the numbers are astounding, more than 400,000 people have been displaced. now they're getting the news that some of the food they've been having access to could be contaminated. what's the reaction, what's the response that these people are supposed to have to this? >> right now we really don't know all the information wire going to need to tell people what they can eat and what they can't. the problem with radiation, particularly as it deals with problems in the seawater is there's two kinds of radiation. one eye odied 31, and one cesium 37. the risk here for fish is that these foods, like fish, could concentrate these toxins just the way mercury concentrates in fish as well. >> so if it is the other, though, the other time of radiation, what does that mean to the interaction that they would have with fish in the
seawater? >> iodine 131 is the other. it has a half life of about eight days. the problem is both these types of radiation are heavier than air, so you can see in terms of what we look at, proximity, intensity and duration, the proximity is important, because that dust cloud, that explosion, released radiation over a very wide area, but because the dust was heavy, it settled within an area of about 60 miles or closer. the problem for iodine is that it concentrates in milk in particular, about 12 hours after a cow consumes radiation from the grass, it actually produces milk. that can concentrate and lead to problems in the most vulnerable -- children. >> doctor, how quickly will they be able to isolate and determine which type of radiation could have affected the seewater
there? >> well, where they're looking right now, they found levels up to 100 times higher than normally occurs, so right now, the risk is that that radiation will get into the food supply and scientists will be testing the foods periodically to determine their safety. again, the problem with radiation is that it damages cells during the most critical phases of reproduction. that's why children are affected, but it's also why people are most vulnerable in those areas to problems like bone cancer and also blood cancer. >> doctor, i want to talk about the five prefectures halting sales of vegetables. long term are they ever able to grow food again in that soil? we're talking about leafy green vegetables grown in these different prefectures? >> it's unlikely, if chernobyl is an example of what can happen, it's unlikely that the area, the farmland directly
outside of this radioactive contamination area will be used again for farmland for a number of years. but outside there will be tests to determine the safety and there were probably areas not affected, again, because that dust cloud did not land everywhere uniformly. there's possible that there's farmland still useful. >> so some viable. dr. firsh oeismt in, thank you for coming in. what is the sad. ♪ i was diagnosed with copd. i could not take a deep breath i noticed i was having trouble. climbing the stairs, working in the garden, painting. my doctor suggested spiriva right then. announcer: spiriva is the only once-daily inhaled maintenance treatment
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push back against the white house for the currents military action in libya. where did candidate obama come down on this sure? in 2007, he appeared to have a more limited view of executive power telling "the boston globe" the president does not have power to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involved stopping an actual or imminent threat to thnaon it is always preferable to have the informed consent of congress prior to any military action. bringing you a live update straight ahead. stay with me. when you pour chunky sirloin burger soup over it, you can do dinner. 4 minutes, around 4 bucks. campbell's chunky. it's amazing what soup can do.™ about his future. he can't say social security... much less tell you what it means. he doesn't know that his parents are counting on the money they pay in.
the judge instructed that exam to be videotaped and provided to prosecutors and defense attorneys who are covering the indicates. one of the u.s. soldiers posing with dead afghan civilians will plead guilty to murder today. his lawyer is saying army specialist jeremy murloc thismt is being court marshed for killing three as part of a rogue kill team in afghanistan. the army apologized for this incident hoping to head off a pr disaster that some have likened to abu ghraib. the president says he authorized the operation to, quote, prevent a humanitarian catastrophe. in 2007 you may remember he said, quote, the president does not have power to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve
stopping an imminent throat to the united states, but some are still backing his decision. >> to have gadhafi remain in power and carry out the brutality that he's already shown he's capable of i think is unacceptable. >> and i'm joined by cnbc chief washington correspondent john harwood. john, you know, the white house is saying the president met with a bipartisan group of lawmakers before taking this action, but how might his political capital be affected as we look long term, especially if the u.s. is involved in a lengthy conflict. >> i think that's the key point, what is the outcome? how successful? how brief? how protracted is it going to be? he'll be judged on the results. the pro forma consultation with congress, and he certainly was not going to congress for their permission, which is something the presidents of both parties have tended to
war-making authority and act as commander in chief, and whether or not congress decides you made the right decision depends on what the outcome in, but it is significant that you've got not only people on the left like den knit kucinich saying that the president is waging war. he even said it might be an impeachable offense, but people like richard lugar, former chairman of the foreign relations committee, who's been an ally of the president on some issues, he has real misgivings about this operation, the goals and timetable and exit strategy is, so he's saying we need a debate as well. so you're spanning the spectrum. >> it's very blurry about what the end game is. we'll continue to wait and watch and see how this is specified for all of us. john hardwood, thank you. famed investor warren buffett is urging investors to take notice of the economic silver lining presented by the
devastation that's the japan earthquake and tsunami. buffett says the snanl that followed creates a buys opportunity for shares in japanese companies. he says the disaster will take time to recover from, but you willy it would not change the economic future of japan. so, rick, in this current economy, why does it make sense to go ahead and buy, investing in japanese companies, especially when there is going to be such a long time for them to rebound. >> if you're warren buffett, you're a buy-and-hold investor, you focus on the long term, not the short term. the tokyo stock market plummeted, and is still not back to where it was, but what's likely to happen, clearly a short-term slow down, but later this year and early next year there will be tons of building i
rebuilding activity. clearly construction companies will benefit, some manufacturers, japan is still a huge economy, the third largest in the world. by this time next year, japan's economy could be more or less back to where it was before the earthquakor or even ahead of it. >> when we talk about the predevastation market, have they in the recent years had a shaky economy? >> huge economy, but it's been a stagnant economy it's not generating a lot of growth. so japan hasn't been contributed. it still is. and how things are changing in this economy, especially with what we're seeing? japan.
what will it do with how we're trying to foster and build up our own economy. >> on the one hand it's remarkable that the stock market is unstable. we've had two shocks in 2011. the s&p 500 stock index is about where it was before the earthquake in japan, so investors are not running for the exits. the housing market is still struggling here, and we are going to see consumer confidence dip, i think because of the gas prices going up and all this unrest, but still corporate profits are strong, it still looks as if companies will start hiring later this year. and people terr still expecting that we're? a recovery that at least has some roots right now. and, again, the total economic loss, the estimation around $300 billion for japan, we just had our markets up, we're still above the dow jones industrial
average psychological mark. red arrows across the board right now. last week we were really affected, but closed out strong on friday. is consumer confidence still there? >> it's very shaky. what we'll have a volatility, an unsure outlook, and that's what you're seeing in the markets. panicked selling when something unsettling happens and people say, maybe it's not too bad. people want to get in on the recovery, and that's the jitteryness, people want to be there to benefit from the recovery, but they're not sure how -- if it's going to get derailed. >> people are tent tich. whiplash effect, i think. >> that's a good way to put it. political battles are going on all over the country, this time redistricting. the census shows populations that have decreased or fallen
off or increased. the remainder, leave it up to the lakers. the new lines are often a result of back room deals, and here to break down the redistricting process is local politics report for "the washington post," mike debonis. you've been watching virginia, one of the first to complete their redistricting. how has the process unfolded there? this is being done by the lawmakers. >> in virginia, likenmo placesthlaakers awhe owma. they're going to start next month their process. for as long as anyone can remember, it's been a process where basically each house gets together, there are certainly people in charge, they come up with the maps, they come up with
borders that are mutually agreeable to the caucus that eventually will have to vote on them. there are public hears, but you can't say there's a lot of public input. at the end of the day, the people voting on this will vote on what's most important to them.omore pride in the process you think that would still really happen? so is it -- doesn't it rely on all of us, the voters, to keep a closer eye on what's going on and throw a fit when things are going wrong? >> absolutely. that's becoming easier to do in this day and age, because for the first time really ever, individual citizens have the power to go and draw their own
boundaries. ush seeing not just the legislators. that's who used to actually have the power to draw the maps. now anybody with an internet connection and web browser can go on and draw maps that fit the law. >> we're talking about virginia, using that as a template, but further complicating matters to explain to everybody, and this year ten states will lose districts with new york and ohio each losing two, and eight gain congressional districts, so political politically. >> it's hard to say in any
individual case. it's difficult when you lose a congressional district and you end up with an incumbent or maybe two incumbents that may have to run against each other in a district. in virginia, that's not the indication, they're keeping the same -- >> it really is up to all of us to pay close attention to what's going on in our home states. great to have you on today, mike. >> appreciate it. new york bus drivers are placing cite any, getting pulled over more. the bus driver behind the while during that devastating crash that killed 15 people says he's hurting and having a very tough time. jonathan dienst has his story.
>> he said just a few words before going back inside. williams' wife also wanted to speak, saying his family is devastated by the loss of life. >> the victims of the families are hurting, we're all hurting together. it's not so say my husband is remorseful, i am remorseful. >> reporte >> he was able to somehow crawl out of the that bus, get to the back of the bus trying to save some of those passengers. >> reporter: they say williams stands by his claim that a truck cut him off. investigators have said they're looking into whether he was nodding off and speeding while behind the wheel the night of the crash, and.
defense lawyers say past driving infractions dating back to when he was a teenager had been dismissed. >> the check of the dmv reports will show that all those violations they're talking about from 16 to age 19 have been submit. >> reporter: his attorneys say williams had turned his life around and they say he was a good employee. as for williams, last week he was seen in tears in the aftermath. this day his lawyer says he feels for those passengers. that was nbc's jonathan dienst reporting for us. you know, millions of americans fly through some of this country's busiest airports every day. these days there is almost every service available. did you know that most airports have chaplains on site?
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and now we put a prescription discount card in every box so you'll pay no more than $15 on test strips, which is a true american value for people with diabetes like me. [ male announcer ] accu-chek aviva. born in the usa. welcome back, everybody. so you're at the airport, about to take a flight, you're looking for solace before taking off? where do you go to find comfort? did you know you could actually talk to a priest. father, nice to have you with us this morning. people fly for a lot of reasons every day. joyous occasions, there are
tragedies, obviously business for a lot of people, a lot of hustle and bustle. >> you're right. i spend time circulating through the airport. i dress like a priest and wear my airport badge, and that's how people can connect and know that i'm an official working at the airport. it has a calming effect. wile there's 50,000 people who work at o'hare, there's all the travelers, too. when you're traveling, as soon as you get to an airport you're kind of turning your whole life over to other people. you're under surveillance, you're standing in lines, somebody tells you what gate to go to. so people are under a lot of
stress i become a person they look to as a way to calm down the airport is a foreign place for a lot of people. it's big, it has a lot of signs. it's bewilledering sometimes if you're from another country. people will talk to me, just ask simple questions. they'll say, you're a catholic priest? can i talk to you about something? >> it's qualifiering for people culturally a lot of people may not have known you existed. how did the idea come about? >> well, it started actually in 1950, the idea started in boston, to put a chaplain at the airport. it kind of grew out of a military chaplain. we started at o'hare in 1960, so
we just celebrated our 50th anniversary. the way it started is the people that worked at the airport weren't able to good to church on sunday. so they petitioned a priest to come and say mass to them. it just grew over there. they were able to set up a chapel. in fact, though this day there's still pilots who know they can good to church at o'hare. >> you are a catholic priest, so i'm sure you find people of different religions. how do you counsel them if they aren't typically a catholic? >> generally i don't eask what religion is. we just start up a conversation.
if someone's catholic, they'll say, father, i haven't been to confession? a mile, or could you pray for my husband's son, whatever, especially someone who is sick or dying. i get from people of every religion that they ask me and my chaplains to keep them and their intentions in our prayers. >> well, father, we will recommend for anybody traveling through chicago o'hare to keep a watchful eye. >> god bless you. odyssey dawn, the latest in odyssey dawn, the latest in a long [ coughs ] [ breathes deeply, wind blows ] something wrong with your squeegee, kid? uh, i'm a little sick. sick?! you gonna let a sore throat beat you? you're fearless! ahhhhhhhhh! atta boy! [ male announcer ] halls. a pep talk in every drop. ahhhhhhhhh! atta boy! introducing honey bunches of oats, raisin medley.
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dawn. >> that's not a military operation. that's a carnival cruise ship. it has become a bit of a talker why the operation in libya is called odyssey dawn. on t"the last word" with lawrene o'donnell, he explained where come manned does are given two letter combinations for these titles. we wanted to look at the titles that have been the most talked about and interesting. for example, in iraq, operation enduring freedom, originally operation infinite justice, that name was changed because the u.s. learned it was offensive to muslims. now, operation new dawn, no more combat missions but still 50,000 troops on the ground. a mission name is designed to work on many levels, operation just cause during the first george bush presidency, the invasion of panama to remove manual noriega from power. the most well-known is desert
storm, the first major u.s. military engagement against saddam hussein. take a look at this. iraq is the country in focus, whether it is storm, sabre, strike or desert fox, all very important, very meaningful, very important operations. it was a look behind the veil to figure out how the name game is done. hope you found it interesting. that's going to do it for me today. i'm thomas roberts. we appreciate your time. i will see you back here every weekday morning. we thand over to contessa brewer. ed w yesterday, dennis kucinich told me he was thinking about doing something about president obama's actions in libya. he brought up the topic of impeachment. today, he is doing something, not necessarily impeachment but there is a bill pending in congress. former minnesota government, tim pawlenty makes a move. the lack of republican presidential candidates so far.
a lot of bad blood for cbs and charlie sheen. could he actually end up back on his old show? all of that still ahead on msnbc. start your morning... hey. what are you doing up? i thought i'd take a drive before work. want to come? [ female announcer ] or make his day. yeah. [ female announcer ] maxwell house gives you a rich, full-flavored cup of coffee, so you can be good to the last drop. we all have one. that perfect spot. a special place we go to smooth out the ripples of the day. it might be off a dock or on a boat. upstream or in the middle of nowhere. wherever it may be, casting a line in the clear, fresh waters of michigan lets us leave anything weighing us down back on shore.
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good tuesday morning. i'm contessa brewer. the big story we forling, libya, signs tension in the coalition. this morning, the u.s. military confirmed an f-15 fighter jet crashed in libya. it's two crew members are safe and heading back to europe. military officials are emphasizing that it was strictly member can cal problem that brought the plane down, no evidence of any hostile action. >> overnight, more gunfire erupted in the streets of benghazi and international forces flew as many as 70 missions overhead. moammar gadhafi's orders